Carlos Sainz Jnr says he empathises with Mick Schumacher because he also has also experienced the challenges which come with having a famous surname.Michael Schumacher while Sainz’s father was twice World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz. Mick Schumacher found himself in the media spotlight in Bahrain which was his first race weekend as an F2 driver and followed the announcement of his first Formula 1 test with Ferrari.
Sainz said when he started racing his rivals were particularly keen to beat him because he is the son of a famous driver.
“When I was go-karting, especially, I just felt a lot of people were looking at me and my results and the way I was going. A lot of kids, racing drivers were just focusing a bit more on me because of being ‘the son of’.
“It’s something I ended up embracing and getting used to. Although at the time it was tough. I just tried to take the positives from it. Having a double world champion as a father it made me a better driver today.
“I think [Schumacher’s] getting a lot of attention these few last weeks because of the F1 test and that’s why I feel for him. But sometimes media attention is also not bad. I think he’s in a good place right now.”
According to Sainz his experience of being targeted by his young rivals taught him to be more aggressive.
“Kids sometimes are a bit mean. You want to beat that guy, I want to beat the son of Carlos Sainz more than any other one because maybe his father is watching or more people are watching. When I was a kid, definitely that was a thing that I didn’t like.
“And until my dad told me ‘either you fight or you get beaten’, when he told me that I realised I need to start fighting a bit more, if not I’m going to get beaten too often.
“Suddenly I started being a bit more aggressive and I started earning a bit more respect because I didn’t realise I was being a bit too nice, maybe, a bit too friendly with everyone, just wanting to get everyone’s approval. I started being a bit more aggressive and it was better, definitely.”
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